LONG BEACH—A new 574-foot, L-shaped public dock, located south of Parker’s Lighthouse, is nearing completion and designs for the long-awaited Pine Avenue dock is soon expected, according to a city official.
Dock 10, a timber system located at 435 Shoreline Village Drive is in the process of being replaced with a new ADA accessible gangway concrete system, which is scheduled for completion by the end of the summer, according to Eric Lopez, Long Beach’s Tidelands Capital Improvement Program (CIP) officer. The system also includes new lighting, emergency fire-water access, an emergency phone, guardrails and three sewage pump-out stations.
Part of Long Beach’s Tidelands CIP, the soon-to-be minted dock will increase boat space at Rainbow Harbor. The project, according to a memorandum distributed to City Council in 2013, was approved in the amount of $2,244,564.
“It will be a state-of-the-art completely rebuilt docking space,” Lopez said. “It’s a pretty darn cool project and it’s going to provide a lot more public docking space in this area than is currently there.”
Additionally, Long Beach is gearing up to begin initial designs on the Pine Avenue dock extension, which will sit adjacent to the Pine Avenue Pier. The designs, according to Lopez, will be completed by Tetra Tech engineers—the same company which handled the conceptual design for Dock 10.
“The engineering team is already on board and under contract with the city. We will have our 75 percent designs in 10 to 12 weeks,” Lopez said. “The pier is a little bit different because there is an existing pier structure there, a wood pier structure that we have to connect to or integrate with. The engineers are actually going to look at reusing the existing piles for the pier so they don’t have to do any additional pile driving.”
The referenced area was at the center of controversy last September when city officials removed a 320-foot wooden dock from the area, adjacent to Gladestone’s Restaurant.
The establishment’s owner, John Sangmeister, privately paid for the institution of the makeshift dock. The locale featured a throng of “no trespassing” and “no parking” signs, and Sangmeister reportedly docked his boat there prior to Long Beach officials removing it.
According to a Sept. 2013 article published in the Log, Sangmeister salvaged the dock from Long Beach Yacht Club in 2012 amid a renovation project. The city chose to remove it after it was deemed unsafe following the sudden retirement of the former manager of the Long Beach Marine Bureau, Mark Sandoval.
In the same article, assistant city manager Suzanne M. Frick, who was unavailable for comment, said the city was unaware of the dock’s placement until Sept. 2013. Sandoval said Sangmeister invested more than $16,000 in the dock’s installation, noting that during its tenure behind Gladestone’s, two productions were filmed at the dock and Transpac Race boats also docked at the location.
In an Oct. 1 letter sent to Long Beach city manager Pat West, Sangmeister said the dock was placed in its location in 2012 with full knowledge from all involved parties. He added that Gladestone’s consulted with Blue Water Marine to develop a full set of engineered drawings to fully activate the dock for public use in compliance with all applicable codes. He also mentioned that the main goal of installation was to contribute to the waterfront and attract crowds.
“If you read the letter I sent and the supporting documents I sent with it, it’s pretty self explanatory,” Sangmeister said. “We understood we were at risk, but we certainly didn’t think they would be so closed-minded as to take the dock away without a replacement. We were prepared to make a much greater investment in the repair once we had a working set of engineering drawings that were approved by the city.”
While news spread that Sandoval reportedly permitted the placement of the dock, questions of uncertainty and accounts over whether city officials were even aware of its existence flourished.
Sangmeister said he was notified by West and Frick via email in February that desigsn would begin on the new dock within 45 days and competition would occur before the end of the year.
“It’s June and I still don’t understand why they took the dock away,” Sangmeister said. “We’re disappointed that they couldn’t keep to their timeline, and we’re still questioning the judgment of why they removed a perfectly good dock.”
Both Dock 10 and the Pine Avenue Pier dock projects are being paid with city tidelands funds, Lopez said. The city has approved $900,000 for the Pine Avenue project.
“The goal for completing the construction of the Pine Avenue public dock project is May 22, 2015,” Lopez said. “However, that’s contingent on obtaining all required permits on time and not encountering any issues during the public bid process and contract approval.”